Lexar Professional NM700 M.2 SSD Review: Sluggish Performance From Dated Hardware

Lexar’s Professional NM700 is Lexar’s fastest SSD yet, but comes up short on performance

Lexar Professional NM700
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

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Lexar’s Professional NM700 may be the company’s flagship SSD, but it isn’t entirely the professional-grade product that it could be. It comes in a single-sided form factor for high device compatibility. Still, availability is limited to 1TB and smaller capacities, restricting most prosumers, not to mention gamers that need higher density flash storage due to ever-growing gaming libraries.

The device also comes backed by respectable endurance figures, a five-year warranty, and it's faster than SATA. The drive looks nice with a blacked-out design, but its performance was a bit underwhelming in our testing compared to most of its mainstream competition.

Lexar Professional NM700

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The NM700 held its own during game load testing and large file copy benchmarks, and it was close to WD’s Black SN750 and the Samsung 970 EVO Plus in the PCMark 10 benchmarks. However, it wasn't nearly as power-efficient, and it couldn't hang with most of the mainstream competition during sustained write tests. The NM700 couldn’t even surpass 3,200 MBps of sequential read performance, falling short of its 'up to' 3.5 GBps rating. These results are due in part to the drive's somewhat dated components.

While the hardware combination makes the Professional NM700’s design unique, it wasn’t enough to keep up with the best SSDs on the market. Marvell’s Eldora Plus NVMe SSD controller is a rather dated design now – the controller is roughly 3-4 years old and two to three generations behind the company’s newer NVMe SSD controllers. Additionally, the flash is also two generations behind Samsung's current revisions, and at least one generation behind the majority of the market.

For those looking for a mainstream M.2 NVMe SSD for your build, competitors like Crucial’s P5, WD’s Black SN750, and Team Groups Cardea Zero Z340 offer better overall performance but cost roughly $10-15 less than the $139 Lexar Professional NM700. 

SK hynix’s Gold P31 is $4 cheaper and absolutely smokes the NM700 across the board, too. With the competition performing so well and priced so competitively, it’s hard for the Lexar Professional NM700 to carve out a niche. 

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Sean Webster
Storage Reviewer

Sean is a Contributing Editor at Tom’s Hardware US, covering storage hardware.

  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    The result is clear: Buy a SK Hynix Gold.
    Reply
  • Mandark
    I’ll keep my Crucial P5. Fantastic performance
    Reply
  • Scour
    I don´t understand why "Large dynamic SLC cache " is a positive aspect.

    This causes the extreme dropdowns after the end of the Cache because the SSD need to read all the written data in the cache and write it again to the 3bit of the TLC-NAND
    Reply
  • gg83
    Why make this drive? Unless you sell it in markets where you can't buy SK or crucial?
    Reply